Residents will be taking to the streets in force on Tuesday night—not for a protest, but rather a celebration of neighbors and neighborhoods, of old friends and new friends.
Tuesday is National Night Out Against Crime, a night of block parties and neighborhood barbecues all across the county. More than 15,000 communities across the U.S. and Canada will be participating in the annual event designed to increase neighborhood spirit, improve crime/drug prevention awareness and strengthen relations between police and community groups.
West Hollywood will be observing National Night Out with a dozen block parties. Last year, more than 2,000 Weho residents turned out for the chance to catch up with neighbors and meet new people living in the area. The city ranked seventh in Category 4 (15,000 - 49,999 population) in the National Night Out 2010 Awards.
Area businesses have donated food and prizes for the events. Some of the parties will even have entertainment and dancing, as well as activities for children.
The NNO events are being sponsored by the city’s Neighborhood Watch groups along with the LA County Sheriff and Fire departments. City Council members, Public Safety Commissioners and city staffers will be making the rounds attending the various events.
“National Night Out is a great opportunity for neighbors, public safety personnel and city staff to come together,” said Mayor John Duran. “It is an event that fits perfectly in West Hollywood as it strives to make our city safer and more livable.”
Resident Allegra Allison looks forward to National Night Out events each year.
“National Night Out is what gets residents watching out for each other for the rest of the year,” said Allison. “A neighborhood is like a small town. When you know your neighbors and your police, if something happens in your neighborhood, you’ll want to help the people you know and trust.”
For the past month, Allison and a half dozen others have been busy organizing the National Night Out event being held in the new at 1343 N. Laurel Avenue.
“It’s cool that we’re breaking in Laurel Park at [the front portion of a historic home known as] ,” said Allison. “It’s in the heart of the neighborhood, in the heart of the city and our very first block park party there ever. We have food, art and prizes. Our local restaurants and shops have been very generous.”
Allison is quick to note that team putting together the Laurel Park party comes from all across the mid-city area. “Only one of us actually lives on Laurel,” she said. “We’re here because we love the city and want to put on a good party to celebrate the neighborhood.”
She does have one regret about hosting the Laurel Park party. “I’ll miss going around to the other block parties,” she said.
After all the block parties wind down, residents can go to for a free screening of the 2010 family movie Despicable Me. That movie starts at 8:30 p.m. in the grassy area beside the tennis courts.
Streets in areas hosting National Night Out events will be closed off from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Most of the block parties begin at 6 or 6:30 p.m.
For a list of all the Weho National Night Out events, click here.